NTSB Identification: ERA10CA006
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 04, 2009 in Gainesboro, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N95472
Injuries: 1 Serious,3 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During a visual flight rules cross-county flight, the pilot elected to make an unscheduled landing to obtain updated weather information. The pilot subsequently elected to depart from runway 36, a 3,500-foot-long, unlighted, asphalt runway. It was a dark night and the pilot used glow sticks to illuminate points around the runway. The pilot reported that the takeoff and initial climb were normal, but that he did not have any further recollection of the flight. The airplane subsequently impacted trees along rising terrain northwest of the airport, substantially damaging the airplane. A witness who heard the airplane depart stated that the engine noise was "loud" with no fluctuations. Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions. The pilot received his private pilot certificate about 3 months prior to the accident and reported about 120 hours of total flight experience.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from trees. Contributing to the accident were the rising terrain and night light conditions.

Full narrative available

Index for Oct2009 | Index of months